1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Basic army organization and unit names

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Aldarion, May 18, 2020.

    How well does the following work? Both linguistically (translation) and organizationally?

    • Middle Byzantine unit names
      • greek name – meaning – latin translation – number
      • thema – "emplacement" (Greek tithemi – "I put, place") – aetas, dispositio
        • I place, put – posui
        • alternatives: instruere, corpus (body)
      • tourma – (Latin turma - "swarm, squadron") – turma
      • droungos – (old Gaulish dhrungho "tribe, group, throng, crowd") – drungus
      • bandon – (Germanic bandwo) – bandus, bandum ("ensign, banner")
      • * alternative: vexillatio
      • kentarchia – centuria
      • kontoubernion – (Latin contubernium – "common tent, friendship") - countubernium
    • greek name – meaning – latin translation – number
    • thema – "emplacement" (Greek tithemi – "I put, place") – aetas, dispositio
      • I place, put – posui
      • alternatives: instruere, corpus (body)
    • tourma – (Latin turma - "swarm, squadron") – turma
    • droungos – (old Gaulish dhrungho "tribe, group, throng, crowd") – drungus
    • bandon – (Germanic bandwo) – bandus, bandum ("ensign, banner")
      • alternative: vexillatio
    • kentarchia – centuria
    • kontoubernion – (Latin contubernium – "common tent, friendship") - countubernium

    • final organization
      • decuria / contubernium (10)
      • manipulus (5 contubernium - 50) (in current organization - turma (50))
      • centuria (10 contubernium - 100) (in current organization - centuria (100))
      • bandus (or vexillatio???) (2 or 4 centurias - 200 - 400) (in current organization - manipulus - 200)
      • drungus (2 or 4 bandon - 400 - 1 600) (in current organization - cohors - 400 - 800)
      • turma (2 or 4 drungus? - 800 - 6 400) (in current organization - nonexistent)
      • corpus (or legio???) (2 or 4 turmae - 3 200 - 12 800) (in current organization - legio - 5 200)
        • 4 infantry + 2 cavalry turmae - 4 800 - 12 800
      • corpus (??? - if "legio" is used for unit one down - 2 or 4 legions - 9 600 - 19 200) (in current organization - corpus - 15 600)

    Note that I am aiming for organization similar to Byzantine themes, which were not on basis of 10:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_(Byzantine_district)

    So would presence of additional level of organization between drungus/cohors and corpus/legion be significant? Also, would it be better to use basis of 2 or 4 for unit organization? Especially in light of need to form a hollow infantry square.

    EDIT: Also, I am thinking of making infantry 1/3 pikemen, 1/3 crossbowmen, 1/3 men-at-arms (using pollaxe).
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    We covered the basic principal on the war wagons thread - that level of detail doesn't belong in the book
     
  3. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    I actually resolved that particular issue: most likely I will just copy Middle Byzantine organization, although possibly with different balance of infantry/cavalry. Here my interest is actually primarily linguistical: I want to use Latin names (as I know some Latin and none Greek), but also thought it might be good for names to be distinct - that is, not Classical Roman (legion etc.) so readers don't get confused.

    But this is anyway less important of things in my setting I'm working on - I am also making a rough outline of history of the Empire (and looking at Fomorians and various undead creatures because of it).
     
  4. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    Tell me something - why are you asking these questions here?

    Wouldn't this be more suitable for a history forum, preferably one dedicated to Byzantine history?
     
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  5. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that what you have here looks just fine. I would accept it as a reader. As an expert in Byzantine history, I don't know, but those are thin on the ground.
     
  6. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Technically, this particular question might be best for linguistics forum, but I wouldn't register for just one question.

    As for the reason why I am asking these questions here is that military development of Empire was not influenced only by factors known from history. I believe I have mentioned it in one of earlier threads (but I might have forgotten - I tend to be bit scatterbrained, hence why I write down everything), but there are essentially four main influences on Vetronian military development (at current point in time):
    1) Nomadic tribes and nations which raided Empire in the past
    2) Other empires which it fought (which would be expies of 1) Parthian, 2) Sassanid, 3) Seljuk and then 4) Ottoman Empires, plus itself)
    3) Fomorian invasions
    4) Undead
    5) Demons

    First two are relatively straightforward, and looking at Byzantine and Hungarian military may provide answers on how to handle them. But other three have characteristics which are kinda different:
    1) Fomorians tend to range from being Very Large Humans to being Actual Giants in size - think of humans in One Piece and their sizes as guideline. But more importantly, they dwell underwater - which means that they can appear from sea with little to no warning.
    2) Undead can appear basically everywhere, as long as there are corpses (or even just skeletons) around. But they cannot come into contact with solid bodies of water - rain is fine, but anything more than waist-high will cancel out their magic and turn them from walking corpses into actual corpses. And they can only be killed by swords.
    3) Demons - well, a witch + a ritual involving murder of a person = a lot of trouble for everyone. Again, can only be killed by swords.

    And the above was actually going to be my next question after I was satisfied that I got linguistics right.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Is there an actual book/story behind all these questions? If not, as nao suggest you might be better off on a history or fantasy forum.

    End of the day this here is a writing forum, for discussing things to do with writing... if there is actually a book behind all this i'd strongly suggest you focus more on what actually happens and who to, rather than tinkering with a level of setting detail that the reader really won't care about
     
  8. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    There is. Or rather, I have several - some better, some less-well - developed ideas on what I want to do with a story (basically, rough plot outlines), and further world development, especially when it comes to military, will determine the course story will take. Although I already know enough about military organization (namely, the fact that I want something similar to Byzantine thematic system) to have some idea of where it will go, I still have to solidify a) military organization and b) its connection to political organization, before I feel comfortable with actually writing.

    EDIT: As I noted in my answer to Naomasa, the reason why I cannot post these questions to history forum is that I am not aware of any historical empires which had to deal with invasions of fish people and undead rising from graves.
     
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  9. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    Whilst I have studied byzantine history and military organisation, I am not well versed in it or in latin (my speciality is celts and ancient mesopotamian civilizations/cultures), but the names themselves I find to be fine but i have a few caveat if you are to create any names. The late byzantine empire, for the most part didn't speak latin and instead spoke primarily greek. Whilst the organisational names you have are fine, you may want to include more greek-inspired words instead of latin or other. Historically, they had a lot of old latin names, like Feoderati which they inherited from the roman Empire but most of the everyday people spoke greek. It would be better to consider the Byzantine empire not as the Roman Empire (or successor thereof), but more as a Greek Empire with Latin influence. As such, governmental names, ranks and likes would be more latin whilst everyday people's names and tool and lower governmental ranks may be more greek.

    Again, not at all a byzantine historian. So i'm just speaking from what I know.

    Significant in which way?

    Not sure if I'm understanding you question, but I am assuming you mean whether it would be better to have 2 or 4 cohorts/units/etc...

    Better? Not necessarily. It depends on available manpower, organisational levels, supplies and the purpose of the army and all that. You'd be able to form a hollow square with either, I believe, but the more men you have, the more space you are going to need. A hollow square is a very situational formation that is easily disrupted by terrain. Not commonly used in worldwide-battle tactics/armies in history due to the discipline and training required and the relatively narrow use for it. A standard square formation is a lot more useful as it's smaller, more compact and provicdes (especially with polearms) are "hedgehog" like formation that is very difficult to attack from any side.

    A standard square (like the swiss pikemen) would be especially useful given your army compositions you're thinking of. You could have the men-at-arms with polearms and pikemen on the outside, defending the crossbowmen from any melee attack. The crossbowmen would be in the centre. If you want, the pikemen are the crossbowmen's shield. In this situation, you'd be forcing the opponent to attack (unless he is superior in missile) and into a push-of-pike or into a one-sided attack into a formable pike-square. If your men are very well trained, this could be a very useful tactic.

    See the Pike square for more info

    1)Never watched one piece, but I get the idea of Fomorians. Given they are underwater, I would think them to be less inclined to used missiles. Water is a much heavier and denser medium than air and can much more readily affect the course of a projectile. Also, the fact they can appear anyway means that your entire empire is going to be needing a coast-guard like force

    2) If undeads appear anywhere, then your empire would have to have garrisons in every town or in garrisons outposts so that it's entire empire is protected. that's a lot of military power as mostly, you'd put your elderly, reserved or poorer troops as garrison, and in lesser numbers unless in border areas or conflict /rebellious areas. Point is, you're spending a lot of good and strong manpower that could be going to an bigger army into a lot of tiny armies to defend your towns and villages.

    Why only swords? Would daggers do? And knifes? What about Swordstaves? The water part I get, it's magic so you can just say stuff like that. The sword part is odd since defining exactly what a sword is has been a very long problem for historians. Are daggers swords? Some asian daggers are very sword-like but europeans ones are clearly very different. And short swords, are they swords or daggers? Swordstaves and the likes are even more problematic.

    3)Same issue with swords as 2. But moving on. Doesn't seem to be anything wrong with idea, assuming a daemon/demon has the power of 100 men or, the ritual rises multiple demons.

    All in all, I would be judging that a large portion of your army's use would be in safeguarding the territory it already possesses. Furthermore, I'd say given that there is monsters and frequent war in additional to all medieval fatal possibilities, your empire would be strained for manpower. They would be very weak to outside forces as most of their army is already being used and spent.

    Also, they'd most likely invest in large amounts of defensive structures to help offset the balance.

    Just something to consider...

    Going to the first part of your post. Empires tend to assimilate technologies and concepts from foreign powers they are in contact with (war, trade, diplomacy, etc). Just something to keep in mind.

    Similarly, this byzantine empire of yours may well be using parthian mercenaries to train it's mounted troops/cavalry. The parthians were known for their horsemenship. Same for any other empires/peoples they fought or came in contact with. Is those nomads were particularly good craftsmen, then pay a few to stay and build up your own empire's crafting ability. Etc... etc...

    Overall, not sure what questions you're talking about though.


    edit: You can PM me for further info and so we can talk about your world if you like.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020 at 8:54 AM
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  10. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Actually, my setting is kinda what/if Western Roman Empire survived/reconstituted instead of having barbarian kingdoms spring up. Basically, instead of barbarian invasions you get Fomorian invasions, and seeing how Fomorians are underwater-dwelling people, instead of forming their own nations they eventually get pushed back.

    This is my current background in Vetronian military development:

    In being largest standardized unit. "Corups" here is equivalent to Byzantine "thema", which means that it is field army of a province, and size would thus depend on size of province. So if there is no legion, largest standard unit would be turma.


    Yes, that is the question.

    Byzantine army used hollow square despite operating predominantly in Balkans and Anatolia, both of which are quite mountainous. Though hollow square might actually have been used in offensive operations in Syria, which is lot flatter than either of those.

    Problem with standard square is that it is exclusively battlefield formation. It provides no shelter for the wounded, for cavalry, for the baggage train... though on the other hand, it is also more difficult for cavalry to disrupt. OTOH, hollow square is easier to penetrate into. What I was thinking is something akin to this:
    P - pikemen, C - crossbowmen, O - everything else (open space), B - baggage

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
    PPP
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPCCCPPP

    PPP
    CCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP
    PPPCCCPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPCCCPPP

    PPPCCCPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCPPP
    PPP
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCPPP
    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP


    1) Thanks. So basically Byzantine setup of central mounted army backed up by thematic part-time professionals backed up by local volunteer militia.

    2) Blade needs to be longer than handle. So long-knives and short swords would work, but swordstaff would not.

    Thanks.
     
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  11. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    I see. So, maybe i'm just taking to many assumptions, but here's a few thoughts that come to mind when I am reading your response:


    In regards to the formation:
    You usually don't bother with the wounded until after the battle is finished and whilst you try to protect your baggage train, you would not take it into a pitched battle itself (unless you have a very specific role or tactic or otherwise). You may be ambushed with it, true, but you would not be marching in a hollow square formation and more likely in a column formation due to narrow path's width and terrain restrictions (if there are any -- as in forests, mountains terrain, etc... were you'd be more likely to be ambushed). That said, a highly mobile force may want to circumnavigate this issue and attack on a plain and it's not only in those sitation that it may happened (outside of those criterias and/or ambushed in general) but i'm just speaking generally anyway.

    However, if you're speaking of outside a battlefield scenario, for instance soldiers protecting villagers. Then yes, it makes more sense. Another formation would be a Shiltron (especially a rounded shiltron), 'Shield wall' types of formations or otherwise depending on the scenario. In those situation, it would make sense as you're primary objective is not to win the battle, but to protect X or Y objective/people/whatever.

    You go even go wild and imagine some specific formation. For isntance have some kind of turtle-formation to defend from missiles by having the soldiers form a kind of mantlet. Not sure the strength, weaknesses and armenent of your byzantine's enemy regular enemies.

    One thing to remember, is that unless you're completetly surrounded, a square or "closed" formation like a pike square, hollow square, shiltron or otherwise have the disadvantage of only being able to bring to bare a particular fraction of your forces whilst simultanously preventing your from using the others no invovled in battle but within the formation as reserved. Use of these troops as reserved may break formation or lose cohesion (depending on training, situation. etc... etc... A lot of variables). If being attacked on one side, a square/closed formations does not necessarily make sense. Given the information given, I would think this is more likely as it sounds like your enemies are generally inferior in number, but greater in strength which the former is a disadvantage when trying to encircle something/someone.

    Given you're situation of having undead (I'm not sure how they are created), it would make sense to have specific corpsemongers and people whom specifically go around to collect the dead and burn them (incineration or maybe some kind of water burial may be used to prevent them to rise?) So, in a battle, their might be a set of people to take the dead away.

    You idea of wagon-forts is novel and nice. Not often used/scene in the fictional world IMO. Not sure if you have already, but you may want to read into the use of war wagons in the Hussite Wars for an idea of how their used, especially by Jan Zizske (or something like that, forgot how to spell his name exactly). It is a different style of warfare than normally though of and involved different tactics. From what you wrote, it sounds that you have done reading on that subject.

    Maybe i'm not following, but how those that address the manpower issue? Given your situation, a professional and militia formation make more than sense, but I still don't see how you'd be able to have any army to fight off invasions of formorians and demons and still have enough to fend of other powers. Unless those two formers are not a big issue, but I understood it as if it were a large and regular issue?

    If they were large enough to hold your empire's lands for some time and for some time, defeat them, then I'd reckon they'd be a constant and serious threat that your empire would be spending a lot of resources to protect. They'd also probably have invented some kind of weapon to deal with them specifically -- things we, in our real world, never invented simply because we had never the need for such things.

    So my kitchen chef's knife would work? And what about spikes or shivs? And if I took a swordstaff, broke it's shaft, would it work then? Would a wooden sword work as well as a metal one? Just trying to understand where the limits are. Not sure if it's just me, but it seems to be a very odd limit...

    You'd be adding another level of size. It depends a lot on what you want to do with your army to dictate if it's going to be any use or significant. So... maybe?




    IMHO, you have a very weak empire, that is recovering. You have a large problem with manpower which is further exaspereated by a constant war of attrition against the undead (whom do not seem an altogether too serious threat individually, but provide a constant trickle of fighting and death) intermitently worsened by attacks of your underwater people or maybe foreign powers.
    Not to mention the economy of your country is fragile, at best, or an outright disaster. So, the main governing bodies may be lacking in funds to pay large armed forces or the likes.

    They're in a fragile situation and even if they have won, their lack of manpower (and their demand for it) means that almost any victory for them is pyrrhic in nature.
     
  12. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    So what's the book about?
     
  13. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    I find this very interesting, and it seems like it would have implications for urban management as well as defensive architecture. I can imagine that cemeteries and churchyards might be laid out with a surrounding ditch full of water, so that if the corpses do rise from the dead, there will be means of containment.
    I think that major rivers would give Formorians the opportunity to travel many miles inland, so it would be smart to install some means of defense at the river mouth.
     
  14. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Thanks. I imagine burials might be rather interesting affairs. Not sure whether burning bodies would be practical, though.

    Yes, that is an issue. Question is, what kind of defenses would be possible with roughly 15th century technology?

    I'm actually planning on more than one book / story. First one will be "Game of Thrones, Byzantine Style"*, second one "war on the border" (so against humans) and third "invasion of the dead". Fourth, if I write it, will be dealing with a fallout of the events of the third and return to normal - which is to say, return to topics of first two books. But at this point, plans are still subject to change, though I don't think I will be changing anything major. I might shift things around so that it goes 2-1-3-4 instead of the outlined 1-2-3-4.

    * Which means that I will need to look into revolts - especially successful ones - by thematic armies. There is bit of an issue that provinces in my Empire are much smaller than the (in)famous Opsikion theme, though. I do recall some revolts by farther-off themes, but none successful.

    Byzantine army (which is my model here) actually had dedicated field medics / corpsmen whose duty was to take the wounded back to inside the square (if possible) and provide immediate treatment. Now, effectiveness of that treatment was... varied, due to lacking medical knowledge of the time, but it did reduce casualties and increase morale.

    https://books.google.hr/books?id=KDi8CB3B6vgC&pg=PA197&lpg=PA197&dq=byzantine+army+field+medics&source=bl&ots=GhNZW39rOr&sig=ACfU3U09mVn9Vlx5_iPetcfb8Q4xUUOROw&hl=hr&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjin9uqvdDpAhXC-ioKHT8wDq0Q6AEwEnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=byzantine army field medics&f=false
    https://books.google.hr/books?id=1YDCDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=byzantine+army+field+medics&source=bl&ots=ELlYNXLEdj&sig=ACfU3U3CZOxCS8wTq4-yYP4WtNeqwxQi0Q&hl=hr&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjin9uqvdDpAhXC-ioKHT8wDq0Q6AEwE3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=byzantine army field medics&f=false

    One of purposes of Byzantine infantry square was to provide safe place for a field hospital IIRC.

    Thanks. Though this "inferior in number but greater in strength" varies rather a lot. When it comes to Fomorians, they definitely are like that. Human enemies, depends on who exactly is being fought against, but undead would tend to be greater in number, at least compared to regular army units. They are generally rather disorganized and stupid.

    I have done some reading on Wagenburg tactics. Thing is, I have found rather differing opinions on wether wagons were purely defensive or could be employed offensively. Unless I find something conclusive though I may play it safe and just have wagons used as field fortifications for camp (as Hungarians did at Battle of Mohi, Varna and Kosovo).

    Fomorians are no longer existential threat. They are still a threat, though, and Fomorian wars will definitely have impacted both tactics and strategy of the Empire, which is why I am asking about them - after all, those wars lasted for 400 years, with attacks continuing even after wars proper had ended (independent warlords, raids etc.). As for the undead, they are a problem for everyone, but generally can be handled by local militia. Generally - sometimes a proper army will appear (while normal undead just go see human > eat human unless there is water in-between, there are undead who can actually think and direct armies), thus requiring response by standing military.

    Original idea was that the undead could only be killed by swords, but how do you define a sword?

    One reason why I thought about basis-4 for army organization was need to organize infantry square.

    At any rate, this is current organization:
    • contubernium (8 soldiers, 2 non-combatants) – commander: biarchius
    • centuria (10 contubernia – 80 + 20) – commander: ordinarius
    • vexillum (2 centuria – 160 + 40 = 200) – commander: princeps
    • drungus (2 vexillia – 320 + 80 = 400 infantry, 3 vexilia – 480 + 120 = 600 cavalry; 1 000 total) – commander: tribunus
    • turma (4 drungaries – 1 280 + 320 = 1 600 infantry, 1 920 + 480 = 2 400 cavalry; 4 000 total) – commander: comes (central army), dux (provincial armies)
    • corpus (varies – minimum 2 turmae – 8 000 total, plus 5 independent light cavalry drungae – 2 000 total; overall total: 10 000) – commander: magister militum

    I based the above on Byzantine Thracesian theme from cca. 660.-840., as described in Warren Treadgold's Byzantium and its Army. Of course, it is not the same organization. Question is, considering the importance of raiding and counter-raiding, plus the fact that many threats can appear relatively from nowhere (and thus local militia may need help quickly in containing them), should there be more light cavalry vexillations than in organization described above? I am thinking maybe 10 independent vexillations (2 drungaries), for 2 000 light cavalrymen instead of current 1 000. Maybe I should put that as default, especially since it will lead to a nice round number of 10 000 - and Byzantines liked round numbers.

    Speaking of which, how much sense would cavalry-only central reserve make? I was thinking about it for sake of mobility, but even a cavalry force would need to rely on carts for longer trips, and naval and/or riverine resupply for longest trips.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020 at 5:51 AM
  15. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    He might be writing for himself and detail might be important to him.
     
  16. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    The only thing I can think of is a sort of iron grate across the river mouth, but that would be very expensive. Perhaps a net? But that would be easily cut, and you need to provide a way for shipping to get through.
     
  17. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Could iron grate be possible at ports? It wouldn't protect vilages and farmlands, but that might be done with ramparts and patrols?
     
  18. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    I'm sure ports and harbors could be defended pretty easily using such measure. As regards river mouths, I'm thinking of the Columbia River right now. Obviously this is a huge stretch and would be impossible to build a barricade across, and you wouldn't want to anyway because all your workers would die. So a smaller river, maybe, but not something massive like this, and ironically these huge rivers would be the best entrance point for your Formorian-like creatures. I guess that means that for a lot of rivers, you'd have to have defenses all along the bank, or your guys figure out some sort of magical Greek fire stuff that they could spray from small boats. That would probably be more practical. Anyway, just musing.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    I was thinking maybe earthen ramparts along river banks, perhaps with signal towers? Not sure whether it would really help, though.
     
  20. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    Would the concern be isolated raids, or concerted invasion?
     
  21. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Raids. Invasion had been defeated in the backstory.
     
  22. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    So a good historical corollary would be the Vkings in the early medieval period?
     
  23. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Vikings in Northern Europe and Barbary corsairs in Mediterranean.
     
  24. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    Then my advice to you is to get writing, instead of wasting time on details that your readers won't ever see or care about.
     
  25. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Thing is, I care. I have read some books where authors have started writing without working out details first (e.g. Harry Potter) and most of them were an unholy mess - except for those where world was essentially our own (e.g. Cato series). And I'd rather not turn into J.R.R. Tolkien, going back and rewriting three quarters of an already written book because I had to change something in the way my world works during the writing process. Though I guess I am being a bit too obsessive about it.
     

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